Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Growing Mob



A routine can be planted in the celluloid turf as an acorn and grow into a mighty oak.  This explains how a simple American Mutoscope & Biograph short named Personal (1904) eventually inspired the grand "bridal run" climax of Buster Keaton's Seven Chances (1925).  Footage from Personal is not available, but here's a clip from the Edison remake How a French Nobleman Got a Wife through the New York Herald Personal Columns (1904):

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In filmmaking, CGI is equivalent to plant growth hormones.  Here is how that same routine looks with current technology.

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Obviously, the clip also reflects a change in sexual attitudes.  Women in bustles look much different than women in bikinis.  I should add, though, that the sexual content of this clip is tame when compared to a scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) in which Graham Chapman is chased off a cliff by a horde of topless models.

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